#STRONGIOWA: Dave Baker’s Story

#STRONGIOWA: Dave Baker’s Story


What do you do when disaster strikes
your farm? What do you do as a family? When the worst thing that could
happen to you and your farm business takes place? I had a young individual
named Dane that recently contacted me. He was interested in joining the family
farm. He was highly educated. He was an architect but something was drawing him
back to the family farm. Well this disaster wasn’t necessarily a
hail storm. It’s when we suddenly lose our father. The main individual that was
running that farm. Who would be the mentor to Dane. I remember the second
time that Dane came in my office and I was expecting a good report. That things
have gone well with the discussions with the family and he came in he was very
quiet. Very solemn and finally he said to me, he says Dave, he says we lost our dad. You know, he was struck suddenly by an illness that no one could have expected. No one was trying to, you know, deal with.
It’s just boom. He’s gone and you gotta make a lot of decisions. Fortunately Dane is very level-headed.
Very much in control of his life. And I think between him, and his brother,
and his mother, as a family they sought back to Extension and said how do we
get through this? What do we have to do? I consider myself a team member for Dane’s family. I consider myself someone that has knowledge of
hundreds of other families that have been through succession planning. So
several times Dane has mentioned how we as a specialist in this field gave them confidence to carry on. Iowa
State University Extension and Outreach has a very diverse group of specialists and I think most all cases we’re trying
to improve the lives of Iowans and help them to make better decisions based
off of research data. As well as other experiences that those specialists have
had in all of Iowa. And I think Extension addresses that. In helping
farm families go into the future. To be sustainable type businesses. And so I
think thats why I enjoy my job. I work with farm families to help them
to get along. To go into the future. To fulfill their dreams. I look forward to
working with Dane and his family to continue their farm legacy.

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